First Brethren Church of Ardmore

Ardmore Brethren Church

23370 Ardmore Trail
South Bend, IN 46628
 
Come and Worship
With Us

Worship Services

Sunday School 9:30 AM
Morning Worship 10:45 AM

OUR PASTOR
  1. STAN HULLAH
    STAN HULLAH
    Phone: Cell 269-845-0546 Home 574-243-3883 Email: pastor@ardmorebrethrenchurch.com

     Stan Hullah, Jr. was born in north central Illinois and grew up on a farm in southern Wisconsin.  Following high school he became a mechanical draftsman for the Beloit Corporation.  During this time he became a Christian at the age of 22 and decided to quit his drafting job and attend a Bible college in Lansing, Michigan.  It was here that he heard the call of God to enter Christian ministry.

     Since 1977 Pastor Stan has been preaching the gospel of Christ and ministering to people’s needs.  He has ministered to brand new churches and churches established for over a hundred years.  He has been a pastor to both young and old with the love of God and is well loved and respected by many.  Pastor Stan began his ministry with the First Brethren Church of Ardmore in November of 2007.

     While at Bible college Pastor Stan met his wife Karen who grew up on the west side of South Bend in the community known as Ardmore.  They have four adult married children and nine grand children.  God has blessed their family and they praise God that He has called them to minister to the Ardmore community.


UPCOMING
EVENTS:
​  
Men's Property Breakfast,

     Third Saturd of each month at 9:00 AM.  All Men       are invited to attend


It's coming this year, 2018!!  Plans are underway for our 100 year Anniversary Celebration.  It is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, September 16th.  More information will follow.  Plan to attend.

Our History


First services held October 27, 1886 in
Fairview Church

Congregation organized in Ardmore in 1916.

 First met in the Ardmore school.

 Fairview church building dismantled and
moved to Ardmore.

Dedicated August 1918.

New building dedicated November 30, 1969

New church dedicated in 1969.

Our original church was moved to Ardmore in1918.
From the Desk of
​Pastor Stan

February 2018  


     Our society today is very enamored with unconditional love.  People believe they should be accepted and loved for who they are as individuals.  They want to be their own person with an attitude that says, “This is who I am.  Love me for who I am.”

     There is some truth to this found in the old church hymn, “Just As I Am, Without One Plea.”  The last verse closes with words that seem to say that God will accept me as I am:

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come!  I come!

     However the careful reader will notice in these words that the person has chosen to believe God’s promise and is coming to the Lamb of God confessing the need to be pardoned, cleansed and relieved.  Of what, I may ask, does the person need from God?  Forgiveness of sin!

     The idea that we need forgiveness of sin from God implies that our life style is offensive and unacceptable to God.  In other words, God is not pleased when we “do our own thing” and live for self contrary to the commandments of God.  Yes, God will receive us just as we are if we confess that our life style has been contrary to God.

     Therefore God’s love is both unconditional and conditional.  God loves every person in hope each one will believe and come to the Lamb of God for forgiveness of sin.  God’s love for mankind is demonstrated in Jesus who died on behalf mankind’s disobedience to God (Rom. 5:8).  God loved His enemies through the death of His Son (Rom. 5:10).  This love is for all mankind.  But those who refuse the love of God demonstrated by His Son will be cut off from God (Rom. 11:20-22).  God’s love is both kind and harsh.

     God’s love is unconditional to His enemies while they live their lives before God.  God is not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).  But those who reject God’s unconditional love will be severely punished (Heb. 10:26-31) because they chose to do their “own thing” instead of God’s.
Previous Articles
from Pastor Stan

January 2018
     


     Your faith is the most valuable thing you possess.  Without faith you are hopeless and helpless and destined to die a miserable death.  So why do you believe?  How do you believe? What do you believe?

     Where does our faith come from and why do we believe what we believe?  Lamentations 3:22-24 states that the steadfast love of God never ends.  His mercy endures forever and God’s merciful love is new every morning.  God is faithful to do this every day and as a result Jeremiah declares, “Great is your faithfulness.”

     I believe we are born with the capacity to love and believe but it is something we learn as a human.  We love because we were first loved (1 John 4:19) in our infancy, childhood and adulthood.  We learn to love God because He first loved us.  Is our faith then also a result of God’s faithfulness?

     As a child I was taught to believe in God by someone who believed. 
My teacher’s faith was an example for me to follow.  As a child I believed because I was told to believe.  In my early adulthood I had stopped believing in God until I was challenged to believe again.  This time my faith in God was my own choice.  Did God stop being faithful to me when I chose not to believe?  No.  God was faithful.  When I review my past I can see God’s hand in my life even when I did not believe.  Great is God’s faithfulness.

     There are those who say that I did not choose God but that God chose me and therefore my faith in God was a result of God choosing me.  They say that my faith was a gift from God.  From God’s point of view this may be true but from my point of view my free will chose to believe in God.  My choice was the result of accepting Jesus, raised from the dead, as the only begotten Son of God.  I accepted the Bible as the true word of God.  I said, “Yes” to God.

     My faith in God has been strengthened through the years with challenges to my faith.  I have had to choose to believe that God’s merciful love is new every morning and that God is faithful.  He is now my teacher and example to follow.  I now believe because God is faithful.  Faith in God is my greatest possession.  How about you?  Is it your greatest possession? 




December 2017

      Our American culture has developed a lot of traditions for the Christmas holidies that highlight magic and miracles.  They communicate that the Christmas season is a special time of the year.  Why is this?  Is there really “magic in the air” at Christmas time?ay.  There are decorations, shopping, parties and cooking of Christmas treats.  The entertainment industry also adds their input with Christmas movies that highlight magic and miracles.  They communicate that the Christmas season is a special time of the year.  Why is this?  Is there really “magic in the air” at Christmas time?

      Many people observe and celebrate Christmas without even thinking of what comes first in Christmas—Christ.  The true miracle of Christmas is God becoming human in the baby Jesus.  The virgin Mary gave birth to a baby boy that was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  This is contrary to all the laws of nature known to mankind and requires faith in God to accept it as a true miracle.

     It is astounding that people will look for Christmas miracles in their holiday celebrations but will not consider the miracle of Jesus’ birth.  They will believe in story book fantasies but refuse to believe the Bible.  They will give wonderful gifts to one another but fail to receive God’s gift of salvation in His Son Jesus.  The “magic” of Christmas is really a result of their own effort rather than God’s.  The Christmas season is special because they make it special.  How much more special could Christmas become if everything was done to celebrate and worship the birth of God’s Son?

     What would be the impact if every light lit at Christmas was a symbol of Jesus, the Light that gives light to every person coming into this world (John 1:9)?  What if every gift given at Christmas was a symbol of God’s gift to us, Jesus who is full of truth and grace (John 1:17)?  What if people really believed that God can work miracles at Christmas and nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37) because they believed in the miracle of Jesus’ birth?  Christmas season would truly be a special time of the year.

     I pray that your Christmas would be special because you believe in the miracle of Christ’s birth.  Let’s leave the so called “magic in the air” to Hollywood.


November 2017


     I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:4)

     On Sunday October 22, at the close of morning worship, Moderator Cliff Buck presented me with a thank you card on behalf of the congregation.  Inside the lovely card was a note written, “We appreciate you all year long!” and a gracious and generous monetary gift for Karen and me.  Thank you very much for this gift of God’s grace.  Karen and I will use it on our vacation next year.

     October has been recognized as Pastor Appreciation Month ever since Focus on the Family Ministries began to emphasize it in the early 1990s.  But really it is a Biblical concept from the Apostle Paul.  Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you (Heb. 13:17).  It has been a joy for me to lead worship, preach God’s word and serve Ardmore Brethren Church since November 11, 2007.  I pray that God will bless our time together for more years to come.  I believe God has given us much grace in Christ Jesus to continue to be a church doing His will.

     Thanksgiving and genuine gratitude is really recognition of a favor given.  Sometimes it is obvious but many times it is not.  We are grateful when people keep their promises and do as expected.  But when we receive a favor (grace) it is for something undeserved.

     Our thanksgiving to God is recognition of God’s grace given because of His Son, Jesus Christ.  As sinners we have become enemies of God (Rom. 5:8-10).  We deserve God’s wrath.  Jeremiah asks, Why should any living mortal or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? (Lam. 3:39 NASV)  We truly have nothing to complain about to God.  It is by His grace we are still alive!

     Christian people should be the most grateful people on earth because the eyes of their heart have been opened to see the good grace of God given in Christ Jesus.  May we say with the Apostle Paul, He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly,
therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me (2 Corinthians 12:9).  May God bless your thanksgiving!.



October 2017

     Harvest is the ingathering of fruit and grain that has grown and matured from what was planted.  In our part of the world, this is the season of harvest.

     The Israelites of the Old Testament had three harvest times a year.  The barley harvest was April to May and coincided with Passover.  The wheat harvest was June to July and celebrated with the festival of Pentecost also known as the Feast of Weeks.  The fruit harvest of trees and vines was September to October and celebrated with the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).  Each harvest period was to be a time of joy and thanksgiving to God.

     When Jesus had concluded his talk with the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, he told his disciples:

          Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you,                  open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest.  Even              now the reaper draws wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal            life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together (John 4:35,              36).

     God’s harvest of the “crop for eternal life” is all year long, if the sower and reaper is working together in God’s field.  Christians sow the truths of God every day by the way they talk and live their lives.  But Christians who reap God’s harvest are few.  Is planting the seed easier than gathering the fruit into God’s eternal store houses?  I think so.  Confronting a person about their faith in God can become a hot, heated debate just like Jesus had with the woman at the well.  Peace loving people care not for such activities.  Unlike harvesting grain or fruit, people have a free will to resist the effort of gathering them into God’s eternal storehouse.

     We need to pray to God for the “eyes of our heart” (Eph. 1:18) to be opened so we can see what is ripe for the harvest.  Spiritual discernment is an intuition in the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We follow the Spirit’s leading with faith in God.  We need to pray that God will lead us to people who are ready to surrender their will to God and His Son, Christ Jesus.  Most likely these will be people with broken hearts who need God’s love and forgiveness.  This is the season of harvest.  Lord of the Harvest; help me to see the fields ripe for harvest.


September 2017

     When Dorothy and her companions discover the Wizard of Oz is just a man behind a curtain pulling levels, the “wizard” tries to calm their anger with tokens from a sack.  The tongue tied wizard cannot say “philanthropist” and resorts to the common folk word, “do-gooder.”  I admit that it is easier to do something good for someone than to say “philanthropist.”

     Those philanthropists that are famous and well known are so because of their wealth.    They have been able to make a name for themselves as do-gooders just because they have billions of dollars.  Only God knows the motives of their good deeds whether they are from a heart of goodwill or an investment to make more money.

     Jesus wants us to be “do-gooders.”  “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).  The apostle Paul writing to Titus a very short letter mentions doing what is good six times (Titus 1:16; 2:7; 2:14; 3:1; 3:8; 3:14).  Christians are to distinguish themselves as do-gooders!  (BTW: If anyone tries to bad mouth you as a do-gooder, just say, “Thank you.”)

     If God has blessed a Christian with more wealth than needed, it is truly wonderful to do good deeds with the wealth God has given.  But money is not needed to be a do-gooder.  One of the best ways to be a do-gooder is in our speech.  We expect children to say “please” and “thank you.”  What about adults?  I know speech is not often considered a deed but the way we talk can be a good deed.  “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6).

     When we are polite with our words, we are a do-gooder.  When we compliment a person for a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) demonstrated in their life, we are a do-gooder.  When we pray for someone (James 5:16), we are a do-gooder.  When we encourage one another to remain faithful to Christ (Heb. 3:13), we are a do-gooder.  There is no reason to be tongue tied.  Be a do-gooder!


August 2017

     Did you know that there is no legal American holiday for the month of August?  It is the only month of the year where people are not given a holiday break unless they take the time to take a vacation.  In the northern hemisphere August is usually hot and slow, especially in real estate sales.  It’s not called the “dog days of summer” for nothing!

     So I am thinking, if the weather causes us to slow down a bit, why not slow down for God.  Maybe God is using His creation to get our attention and contemplate His place in our life.  On a lazy, dog day in August consider these Scriptures:

          For God is the King of all the earth;
                sing to Him a psalm of praise.  Ps. 47:7

          When I consider your heavens,
               the work of your fingers,
          what is man that you are mindful of him,
          the son of man that you care for him?  Ps. 8:3-4

          The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven            and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And He is not                 served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself             gives all men life and breath and everything else.  Acts 17:24-25

          For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal           power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood                from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  Rom. 1:20

          Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the                    earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To Him who sits                on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and                     power, for ever and ever!” Rev. 5:13

     Any day in August could be a holiday of praise and worship of our wonderful loving God—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

July 2017

          Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then                you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31, 32.

     Sociologists who study children’s behavior have known for many years that children exhibit more freedom when they are given boundaries.  You have probably heard of the playground experiment where a teacher took four year old children to a playground that did not have a fence and all that the kids wanted to do, was huddle around the teacher.  Then the same children with the same teacher were taken to a fenced in playground and the kids scattered to play on the playground equipment.  They played all over the yard even next to the fence and they were happy.  The fence did not make them feel like prisoners.  They felt free to play.

     We need boundaries in order to be free.  Lawlessness is freedom without boundaries or limits, rules or truth.  This kind of freedom only feeds the selfish desire within us that wants to do its own thing and be its own god.  It is the freedom that leads to pain, suffering and death.  It is a “freedom” that results in slavery.

     God’s truth revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the key to life everlasting (Jn. 8:51).  It is the truth that sets us free from the law of sin and death.  It is the freedom that causes us to live for the sake of others and not just ourselves (Rom. 14:15).  It is a lifestyle we voluntarily choose because it brings us joy and peace.  We are free to live and play within the boundaries of God’s truth.

     In our American society today there is an emphasis on individualism.  Our youth believe they must be true “to thine own self.”  It can be seen in their dress, hair styles, body language (tattoos and piercings?) and sexual orientation.  If their appearance is unpleasant or offensive to others, it is not their problem.  They believe they are free to do their own thing, i.e. until someone gets hurt.  Many times that “someone” is them.  If God permits (Heb. 6:3) Christians can show them that grace and truth comes through Jesus (Jn. 1:14, 17) and they can become truly free in spirit and soul.

June 2017

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
Psalm 14:1

     Would I be a fool to ask, “Who is God that I should worship Him?”  Is God masculine (Him)?  Or, is God feminine?  Maybe God is both.  After all, the Bible says God created male and female in His image (Gen. 1:27).  (Oops! There is that masculine pronoun again.)  Maybe God is neither masculine nor feminine but a living force or spirit we call “life” that is present in all living things.

     I do not want God to be a creation of my own mind.  Yet when I listen to someone talk about their God, I sometimes think to myself, “That is not the God that I worship.  Where did that idea of God come from?”

     I conclude that faith in Jesus is the key to a true understanding of God.  He proclaimed to be the Son of God and that God was his Father.  Therefore Jesus had a masculine concept of God as a heavenly father.  Jesus told people who thought they worshipped God that they really did not because they refused to believe Jesus as the Son of God.  “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.  I have not come on my own; but he sent me.  Why is my language not clear to you?’” (John 8:42-43a).  Again he says to them, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” (John 8:47).

     The resurrection of Jesus from the dead proves the words of Jesus to be true.  He is the Son of God and God is His Father.  However, the world has not believed the resurrection of Jesus.  Therefore the world does not know God as a Righteous Father (John 17:25).  The world does not know God as a Holy Father (John 17:11).  The world does not know God as a Loving Father (John 8:42).

     Our world today needs men who believe in the resurrection of Jesus and worship God as a Holy, Righteous, Loving Father.  Then women and children would no longer live in fear of masculinity.  Father’s Day would honor men as godly fathers rather than fools.

May 2017

     The first woman was named Eve because she was the source of all living people (Gen. 3:20).  The ancient word “eve” actually means “living.”  From the very beginning God created woman with the purpose of giving life.  This is a great gift from the Living God.

     We owe our existence to woman and most likely there are several women who have contributed to our life.  First of all we owe our existence to the woman who gave us birth.  Whether she is a beloved mother or a stranger we never knew, the woman who gave us birth chose to let us live rather than die.  In today’s world some women choose to have an abortion and the human life in their womb does not live.  We are alive today because a woman chose life over death.

     Then there is the woman who fed us and nourished us from birth into childhood.  There was a time for each one of us when we were helpless and could not feed ourselves.  If a woman had not nursed us or fed us, we would not have grown and we would have died.  This woman may be our biological mother or another woman who assumed the role of a nursing mother.  Along the way there has been many a woman who has contributed to our life.  It may have been a grandmother, a sister or aunt, a neighbor lady or a babysitter.  I remember that all the cafeteria workers in my grade school were women preparing our school lunches.  Today my wife loves to cook good, delicious food for her family.  (She also likes to dine out of the kitchen once in a while.)

     Women are also a source of spiritual life.  The apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5).  Paul writes later in this letter, “. . . and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).  Timothy’s faith in God first began with the women of his life.

     We need to thank God for the women of our lives who have given us physical and spiritual life.  They are truly daughters of Eve, the mother of all the living.  The gift of life is a gift from God through a woman.  May the vessel of God’s gift always be treasured!

April 2017

     We worship the Living God, creator of all living and non-living things.  The Living God created life in plants and animals; insects and fungi; bacteria and amoeba.  We worship the God of life but we do not worship Life as a god.  Or do we?

     Many today advocate that all life is sacred and needs to be respected.  They see little or no difference in the value of an animal’s life verses a human’s life.  However many who believe this also believe in the evolution of mankind rather than the creation of man and woman by the Living God.  If life evolved from another form of life, what makes that life more sacred than another?

     The first distinction between humans and all other living creatures is found in Genesis where God created man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:27) and breathed into them His breath (Spirit) of life (Gen. 2:7).  This sets apart the human species from all other living species.  Man and woman bear the image of God and the Spirit of God.

The second distinction between humans and all other living things is found in the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus.  Jesus died on behalf of the sins of people, not animals, nor plants or any other living thing.  Only the sinless, perfect human could take the place of another human’s punishment for sin—the willful disobedience of God’s Law.  Only humans have the free will to choose to obey or disobey God’s law which is based on His Divine nature.  Only humans are said to be created in the image of God and expected to choose to obey that image.

     Of course, this is all based on the teachings of the Bible and many do not believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16).  Some who profess to believe even mishandle the Scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16).

     This spring when we celebrate new life with our traditions, let’s remember that our worship is of the Living God and the Son of God who died and rose from the dead never to die again.  Let us not worship life in general but the eternal life of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed resurrection to eternal life!

March 2017

     According to astronomers spring officially begins in 2017 on Monday, March 20 at 6:29 am EDT for South Bend, Indiana.  This is the moment when the earth’s axis from the North Pole to the South is equal distance to the sun.  It is also the time when days become longer and the nights become shorter.

     In the northern hemisphere March has always been recognized as the beginning of spring.  In the Roman Empire prior to 150 BC March was the first month of the new year.  It was a time to begin planting crops and a time for armies to go to war.  The Romans named the month Martius for Mars, the Roman god of war.  This explains why December is named after the Latin word decem which has a root meaning of ten.  (Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and March is now the third month of the year and December is the twelfth.)

     So we look at March as a new beginning of growth and life. There is excitement with the days becoming warmer and plants springing forth from the ground.  There is the beauty of daffodils, crocuses and tulips.  There is the joy of song birds whistling their happy melodies.  All of nature springs forth in life and hope.

     Jeremiah the prophet saw God’s great love and compassion springing forth new every morning (Lam. 3:19-24).  He saw this when he was surrounded with death and destruction.  Jeremiah was a great man of faith to proclaim the faithfulness of God.

     We need to be reminded in the month of March that God’s love to us is new every morning in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Every new day offers us new and fresh opportunities of growth and life in Christ.  Like Jeremiah we need to believe that a new day is a new opportunity for new life in Christ, even if it is the dead of winter.

     “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39).